We don't have to look much further than this band's name to know that we already like their attitude. Created by lead singer Chris Farren in 2001, Fake Problems were originally a solo project. But nobody wants to be lonely (Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera reference), so bassist Derek Perry, guitarist Casey Lee and drummer Sean Stevenson joined Farren, and the new four-piece set out to conquer the indie music scene in their hometown of Naples, Fla. Now they're on MTV, Mom! Dream big, kids!
Fake Problems' wide array of influences (Cursive, Bright Eyes, Hank Williams) are evident on their latest album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape. And even though their latest folk-infused indie rock single is titled "Songs For Teenagers," this isn't your typical teenage fare: "Let it go, let it go all the way down/Till there's nowhere left to fall/It's a shame all the ways we build ourselves up/Just to let each other down." But fans shouldn't be too surprised -- Fake Problems has already toured with renowned rock acts Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem, and this spring, Say Anything.
We caught up with Fake Problems to discuss how they got together and some of their favorite tracks from the record. The guys also had a lot to say about the direction they're headed musically: "This time we wanted to do something that was just us playing in a room, just what we could do in a band. Songwriting-wise, [Real Ghosts Caught On Tape] is the most cohesive [album], and we all think, the best."
As for that band name? Fake Problems represents the way the band makes their music -- with a "no problems or commitments" attitude.
Fake Problems' Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is out now on Side One Dummy. Check out their brand new video, "Songs For Teenagers," below.
+ Fake Problems, "Songs For Teenagers (Live)"
Watch more video interviews and performances from Fake Problems after the jump.
Last year we were pretty spot-on with our predictions about who to keep an eye on in 2011: Wiz Khalifa's currently brushing shoulders (and SAG cards) with Snoop Dogg, Tinie Tempah reminded us why Brit club music is seriously the best and Warpaint continues to score us some major indie cred. So now that it's 2012, let's take a look at who we'll be watching out for this year. Let's take a closer look at Frank Ocean, Walk The Moon, Lana Del Rey, Dev, A$AP Rocky, Wallpaper., Avicii, Electric Guest, Kendrick Lamar, fun. and Alabama Shakes.
Frank Ocean: You probably already have a Frank Ocean jam on your iPod. If you don't, you definitely have a Frank Ocean-assisted jam on your iPod. The R&B New Orleans native (and probably the most gentle member of Odd Future) has already been in the studio with Beyoncé, Kanye West and Jay-Z (together!), and that was before he was even signed.
Walk The Moon: It's a common belief that there are literally zero people on the planet that don't love Walk The Moon's "Anna Sun." The Cincinnati indie rockers combine synth-heavy hooks with happy harmonies to create what are sure to be some of 2012's most repeat-worthy songs. Plus, how can you hate on a keytar cameo?
Lana Del Rey: New York native Lizzie Grant -- you probably know her as Lana Del Rey -- took the internet by storm with her 2011 song "Video Games." She also managed to create an entirely new music genre while she was at it: "Hollywood sadcore." With her striking visuals and modern take on romantic nostalgia, say hello to everyone's new favorite indie crush.
Dev: California-based pop singer Dev is about to tear up 2012 like a G6. No, literally -- her song "Booty Bounce" that was sampled in Far East Movement's inescapable car jam "Like A G6" is what launched it to No. 1 in the United States, and the recent new mom is just getting started. Dev released her debut album The Night The Sun Came Up at the end of 2011.
A$AP Rocky: After hits like "Purple Swag" and "Peso" got Harlem rapper Rakim Mayer's name circulating around the hip hop elite, it was his 2011 mixtape "LiveLoveA$AP" that made him a standout. After hitting the road with Drake this past fall, we're looking to hear much more from A$AP in 2012.
+ Check out our entire list of 2012 Artists To Watch after the jump, as well as tons of videos, performances and interviews from the bands.
Outasight (born Richard Andrew) might not look like your typical Yonkers-born rapper (DMX, Jadakiss, Styles P), but a good song is a good song. His debut single, "Tonight Is The Night," was not only featured in a national Pepsi commercial and broke the top 30 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart, but we also can't stop playing it. That's got to be worth something.
This week, we're filling you in on Outasight's creative process, what he thinks about performing live, and "Tonight Is The Night"'s party rockin' video. When it comes to laying down tracks, Outasight isn't exactly concerned about the result: "I don't really think about making people dance. It first has to be about me being comfortable with the song, writing lyrics that are honest... and making sure it's just who I am" -- a great tip not only for writing music, but also for picking a new hair color. (Think about it.) Outasight also lets us in on where he's "the most normal": onstage. "[Performing live] feels right... I had the amazing opportunity... to perform in front of 20,000 people, and I think I could get used to that."
'Sight also shared his thoughts on his hit "Tonight Is The Night," explaining that the more people that hear your music, the more momentum it's going to gain. "[The song] got new levels of exposure that I've never really had... Starting off with the Pepsi commercial and then having a chance to be introduced on a national platform like 'X Factor'... There's just more people hearing it." True, but they're also liking it. That's another key factor in the equation.
Outsight has released several mixtapes since 2007, but his debut studio album is due out in 2012.
+ Check out Outasight's "Tonight Is The Night" video below, and catch tons of interviews and performances after the jump.
Doritos have done a lot for me mentally and spiritually (hello, cheeseburger flavor), but I think California-based acoustic folk singer-songwriter Kina Grannis is even more thankful to the little tortilla chip than I am. After she entered herself in the "Doritos Crash The Super Bowl" contest in 2007 and her original song "Message From Your Heart" aired in more than 97 million homes, Kina quickly scored herself a record deal. Cool Ranch FTW!
Grannis self-released her album Stairwells in early 2010, where it debuted at No. 5 on iTunes Pop Chart. That and her YouTube star status and steadily growing online fan army helped her win an MTV O Music Award for Best Web-Born Artist, where she even beat out Odd Future and The Weeknd. Not easy to do! And now we're checking in with Kina to find out more about what's on her music radar in the next year and what it feels like to become a household name. On what she's most excited about since hitting it big, Grannis explains, "I get to travel around the world and meet all of these amazing people, and they're singing my songs! And to me, that's crazy." No crazier than getting a record deal from a commercial, Kina. Get used to it!
We also go behind the scenes with Kina on the set of her candy-coated video "In Your Arms," where she lets us in on her organic and "handmade" creative process -- for the video, Kina worked with director Greg Jardin to make an entire video out of jelly beans (almost 2500 individual frames comprised of 288,000 jelly beans to be exact!). As the video plays out, the jelly beans soon find their way onto Kina, who's lying on a glass above the canvases, as she becomes one with the tiny pieces of candy. We don't even want to think about the hours and hours (and hours and hours) that went into "In Your Arms," but the result is totally unbelievable.
Check out Kina Grannis' "In Your Arms" video below, and watch more videos after the jump. Stairwells is out now on One Haven Music.
+ KINA GRANNIS, "IN YOUR ARMS"
Watch more interviews and videos from Kina Grannis after the jump.
You might think that a dude who's signed to Red Bull Records might specialize in music made specifically for those 17-hour cleaning binges you find yourself on when the caffeine in your system is likely at medically unsound levels (i.e. "Nyan Cat" on a forever loop). But that's not the case with AWOLNATION. AWOLNATION may sound like an army, but it's really fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under The Influence Of Giants, Home Town Hero and Insurgence, and the result is a sonic free-for-all. His varied musical background allowed Bruno to reach across genres while experimenting with AWOLNATION, and the eclectic electro-pop results can be found on their debut album, Megalithic Symphony.
First, check out AWOLNATION's new video "Not Your Fault," where Aaron reminds us that any video featuring a claymation version of the artist can't not be liked. In the video, we see Aaron and his bandmates in various stages of distress -- dealing with an abominable snowman, a fire-breathing dragon and (duh) aliens -- while he reminds his cartoon girlfriend that he doesn't mean to yell at her: "Baby, when I'm yelling at you/It's not your fault, it's not your fault, and/Baby, 'cause I'm crazy for you/It's not your fault, it's not your fault, yeah." And just like that, it's happily ever after for all!
If you're trying to pick which playlist to put "Not Your Fault" on, congratulations -- that's exactly the effect Aaron was going for. As he told us in our interview, "It's really hard to describe what this record [Megalithic Symphony] sounds like, and I'm really proud that it's hard to describe." Mysteries and enigmas, man. We dig. Aaron also opens up about how happy he is about his fortuitous success: "The whole success of this band has been a pleasant surprise, and it was totally unexpected. I tend to expect the worst and hope for the best." To date, I'm pretty sure that motto has never let anyone down.
AWOLNATION's Megalithic Symphony is out now on Red Bull Records.
+ Watch the video premiere of AWOLNATION, "Not Your Fault."
Check out more interviews, videos and performances from AWOLNATION after the jump.
Chances are, your ears have probably found their way to a Kaskade track without you even knowing it. Born Ryan Raddon, the Chicago DJ and record producer has been remixing tracks since 2001, and he's played a pivotal role in helping make electronic dance music (also known as E.D.M.) a household name. Dude has traveled the globe selling out shows (and has a kind of an insane back story), and considers internationally renowned DJs Deadmau5, Tiesto, David Guetta and Skrillex contemporaries. He was also just named America's Best DJ for 2011 by D.J. Times, so it's probably time to start paying attention.
In our first interview, Kaskade opens up about his workflow and his absolutely exhausting schedule: "I'm on the road 200-300 days a year, so by the time I get to the album-making process, I already have lots of little bits worked out." All those "little bits" have really added up -- Kaskade just released his seventh studio album Fire & Ice, which debuted at No. 4 on iTunes, behind Coldplay, Kelly Clarkson and Michael Buble.
Raddon also let us in on his collabo with self-proclaimed "best DJs in the world," Swedish duo Rebecca & Fiona. The three partnered up for the club banger "Turn It Down," and the YouTube video has racked up more than 2 million views in just over two weeks. Raddon explains how the song came together: "I played them this bit, didn't have any vocals on it. I was like, 'Check this out!'... And they were like, 'Wow, that's really cool,' and I said, 'Yeah, that's the most Swedish sounding thing I have.'" Did we mention Kaskade is also funny? (And handsome?)
Check out Kaskade featuring Rebecca & Fiona in their video for "Turn It Down" below, and learn more about Ryan Raddon after the jump. His latest, Fire & Ice, is out now on Ultra Records.
++ KASKADE, "TURN IT DOWN"
Watch more Kaskade videos and interviews after the jump.
Most people probably don't imagine the serene ski slopes of Denver, and think "Let's start an electronic rock band!" But Kyle Even and David Schmitt of Breathe Carolina aren't your average Mountain Time Zoners. The two dudes have been creating their catchy blend of synthy beats and melodic screaming since 2006, and they don't really GAF what you have to say about it. (No seriously, one of their songs is called "I.D.G.A.F.")
Get to know this week's MTV Push artists by taking a look through some of our exclusive videos and interviews with the guys. On how the band got their name, no, they didn't just pick their most peaceful vacation spot. David was actually inspired by a dream: "It was a dream I had about this woman named Carolina... It just stuck with me." That miiiight have to do what actually happened in that dream, but we don't want to pry.
We also learn more about the real tattoo David got during what was supposed to be just a scene at a tattoo parlor in their video "Blackout" spoiler alert: It's a unicorn), what exactly the "BC Twist" is and see the dudes shred it live during performances of "Edge Of Heaven" and "Blackout."
Watch more videos after the jump, and try to see if you can help Breathe Carolina with their hangover in their latest video "Blackout" below.
++ BREATHE CAROLINA, "BLACKOUT"
Rapper Wale may be one of the longest "overnight successes" in the history of hip-hop. The 27-year-old released "Paint A Picture," his first of seven mixtapes, in 2005 and aligned himself with the resurgence of go-go music, a regional funk subgenre popular in his native D.C. After teaming up with Mark Ronson and Lily Allen in 2007, releasing his Seinfeld-obsessed Mixtape About Nothing in 2008 and only then releasing debut album Attention Deficit in 2009, the rapper joined up with Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group earlier this year. Later this week, Wale is set to release Ambition, his disparate follow-up featuring "Lotus Flower Bomb" and "Slight Work," and melding dark, ominous synths, R&B hooks and club-friendly anthems.
We've been big Wale fans for years, and this week we've got no lack of Wale interviews and videos with the MTV PUSH artist that'll make you an instant Wale expert. In the first video, the rapper discusses what he learned from the marketing and promotion of 2009's Attention Deficit that he hopes to avoid for Ambition. As the subsequent videos show, the mixtape veteran born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin has always been confident about his abilities, stating, "I could always steal the show with music," before listing what hip-hop albums influenced him growing up.
Thanks to Sucker Free, we also get to hear about the importance of touring -- "You never really know how hot or not hot you are until you go on tour," Wale says -- and how the experience helps the rapper decide on his next single (democracy in action!). Finally, learn about all the guest spots on Ambition -- think Wale's Maybach Music peers for a start -- and check out the video for mixtape standout "Bait" to get hyped for the official album.
Ambition is out Nov. 1 on Maybach Music/Warner.
+ WALE ON WHAT HE LEARNED FROM HIS FIRST ALBUM:
+ WALE ON HIS CONFIDENCE IN MUSIC:
+ WALE ON HIS MUSICAL INFLUENCES:
Watch more Wale videos and interviews after the jump.
Remember a few weeks back when we debuted Best Intentions, the first album from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. punk-pop quintet We Are The In Crowd? Well, we've raised the stakes by making them our MTV PUSH Artist Of The Week and bringing you tons of exclusive content below. The Warped Tour alum had some bad luck in 2009 when a hacker deleted all of their music. But the band persevered to record Intentions, which blends crunchy, yet radio-friendly, guitars with earnest love songs.
In the first video, we asked each member about their "best intentions" moment, which leads to answers ranging from weight bands to the existential vagaries of life. "I feel like we try to do everything with the best intentions, but our band has really bad luck and we just end up in really weird situations at the most inconvenient times," admits co-vocalist Taylor Jardine.
You can also watch the band discuss the recording process for Best Intentions before going behind the scenes of their latest video, "Rumor Mill," shot in an abandoned hospital and involving mud splashes and hobo standoffs. (We threw in a 30-second sneak peek, too, just 'cause we're nice like that.)
Finally, take a peek at the band's live performance of "Never Be What You Want" followed by the official video to "Both Sides of the Story." And stay away from abandoned hospitals if you know what's good for you.
++ WE ARE THE IN CROWD ON THEIR BEST INTENTIONS
Watch more videos from We Are The In Crowd after the jump. Read More...
Two years ago, 14-year-old pop singer Cody Simpson was recording covers of Jason Mraz and Justin Timberlake in his Australian bedroom. Now he's our MTV PUSH Artist of the Week, and ready to dominate stateside and beyond. Last year's "iYiYi," his debut single, featured Flo Rida and was an immediate hit with more than 18 million YouTube views. That's 18. Million. Since then, the pop star has signed with Justin Bieber's manager, recorded two EPs and has been featured in nearly every mall in America.
We've got interviews and live performances to give you the complete story on our Australian friend. First, check out live performances of Simpson hits "Not Just You" and "On My Mind." After the jump, Cody reveals how Australian slang keeps him grounded to his home country and how his voice has matured since his earlier days. As a singer who started out recording covers in his bedroom, Cody Simpson also discusses his love of cover songs and the artists he still enjoys covering (can you guess?).
Of course more popularity breeds more fans, as Cody Simpson shares crazy fan stories -- a group of dedicated fans followed him back to his house. Not cool, guys. "A mall was something that I just used to hang out in as a kid," says Simpson on his numerous mall shows. "And then you go there, and there's 4,000 people waiting for you to perform. It's a big difference."
Cody also teamed up with MTV Act for a special video on bullying. Simpson says he understands the effects of bullying firsthand and offers his own tips on how to handle bullying and what to do if you're a victim.
Whew! Lots of Cody Simpson to pack in to your week, but we're pretty sure you're not complaining.
+ Watch exclusive Cody Simpson interviews, videos and live performances:
++ CODY SIMPSON, "NOT JUST YOU (LIVE)"
Watch more videos after the jump!